Where Science and Faith Converge
  • What Does Reading Do to Your Brain?

    May 27, 2014

    In a conversation on the accomplishments to be desired in the ideal woman, Jane Austen's Mr. Darcy comments, "And to all this she must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading."

    • Learning
  • Why God Gave Us a Book Instead of a Nook

    May 20, 2014

    My 18-year-old son, Michael, recently told me that he does almost all of his reading on electronic devices. As his dinosaur-era father, I read almost exclusively from physical books.

    • Learning
  • Brilliant Teachers Once Removed: Gleaning Wisdom from Beloved Authors

    May 13, 2014

    In the delightful movie Shadowlands, one of C. S. Lewis’s students says to him, “We read to know we’re not alone.” This sentiment resonates with me. Books and reading are a critical part of my life. This might sound strange, but when I walk by my libraries (totaling a couple thousand or so) both at home and in the RTB office I feel as if they’re calling me. In fact, I think I know some of my favorite authors—even though I’ve never met them in person.

    • Learning
  • Five Science-Faith Resources for Homeschoolers

    May 7, 2014

    It’s the most wonderful time of the year if you’re a homeschool parent. As the school year comes to a close, many homeschoolers are already looking down the corridors of time preparing for the fall—and, before next year, one of their first stops will be a local homeschool convention.

    • Educators/Homeschoolers
  • Does Science Deserve Its Pedestal?

    April 29, 2014

    In light of the many benefits derived through the centuries from the scientific enterprise and the promise of even greater ones to come, it is no wonder that science has been granted such a privileged place in culture and society.

    • Philosophy of Science
  • Transhumanism: A Secular Technological Vision of Future Things

    April 22, 2014

    The desire to live forever is one of the greatest longings of the human heart. Great Christian thinkers and writers—from St. Augustine to Blaise Pascal to C. S. Lewis—have observed that human beings were made to commune personally with the Lord God Almighty. It makes sense, then, that this temporal world and its offerings cannot ultimately satisfy. Thus, according to Christian theology, believers in Jesus Christ will find their future home and fulfillment in the next life, in the eschatological City of God (Revelation 21:1–4).

    • Worldviews
    • End Times
  • How to Think about Near-Death Experiences

    April 15, 2014

    Stories of heavenly visions, like the one at the center of the upcoming film Heaven Is for Real (based on the near-death experience of a four-year-old Nebraska boy), can have a powerful effect on people. They can inspire our imaginations, tug on our emotions, and stir our spirits because they address one of the most haunting questions humans face (or try to ignore): what will happen to me after I die?

    • Heaven and Hell
  • Making Decisions: Six Criteria for Biblical Guidance

    April 8, 2014

    The big decisions of life (and even some of the smaller ones) can put us in a place where we need wisdom and guidance. When I’m faced with difficult decisions or simply need direction on how to handle a challenging issue or topic, I try to consider six sources of authority that are available to all Christians in pursuit of solid answers.

    • Christian Life
  • Considering “Blackfish” and the Question of Mammals in Captivity

    March 30, 2014

    Whatever your opinion about the controversial documentary Blackfish, its impact can’t be ignored. CNN has been airing Blackfish periodically since October 2013. The documentary has won several awards and inspired numerous boycotts. Personally, I have three friends who vowed to cease taking their children to SeaWorld after watching Blackfish; one of them even had an annual pass! Hollywood’s elite is also jumping into the debate, with some artists pulling out of performances at SeaWorld. And now the film is inspiring new legislation.

    • Whales
  • Plato’s Cave: Do You Know the Difference between Reality and Illusion?

    March 25, 2014

    Have you ever been in a cave? Caves are dark, cold, and sometimes dangerous places—people who lose their light source in a cave often cannot find their way out and, without rescue, face the possibility of death from hypothermia or physical injury.

    • Philosophy of Religion
  • Interview: “Understanding Christian End Times Teaching”

    March 18, 2014

    In January, I had the opportunity to discuss the always popular, frequently controversial topic of the end times on Issues, Etc. with host Todd Wilken, a Lutheran pastor and theologian. Our discussion lasted over an hour and included time for listener questions.

    • End Times
  • Engaging in Christ-Centered Conversation

    March 10, 2014

    Last week, my colleague Krista Bontrager shared her insights into Son of God and the TV mini-series from which the film was derived. Whether or not you choose to see Son of God in theatres (or any of the other faith-based films coming out this year), movies like this can provide a window of opportunity to discuss Christ with others.

    • Resurrection
    • Salvation
    • Incarnation
  • “Son of God:” Representing the Bible on Screen

    March 3, 2014

    With the release of the Jesus biopic Son of God in theatres last week, this is a great time to engage in a conversation with others about the historical basis of Jesus. For those of you considering whether to see the film, theologian and RTB's dean of online learning Krista Bontrager offers a balanced review of HISTORY’s The Bible, the TV miniseries from which Son of God is adapted (originally posted on the RTB blog Take Two), in addition to an update on Son of God in particular.

    • General Apologetics
  • Music Points to a Creator

    February 24, 2014

    This February marked the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ arrival in America. My article “Beatlemania Plus 50: Can Christians Appreciate the Fab Four?” explored these musicians’ religious views and how believers can navigate choices in popular entertainment.

    • Image of God
  • Reflections on a War Movie: Lone Survivor

    February 17, 2014

    I’ve seen most of the war movies made over the last seventy years (see “Ken’s Top 50 World War II Films”). I rank Band of Brothers, the 10-part miniseries produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks about the real-life heroism of Easy Company as the very best. The recent film Lone Survivor has elements that remind me of the things I appreciated about Band of Brothers. Without giving away the storyline of Lone Survivor, let me simply list some of the things I appreciated about the film.

  • Beatlemania Plus 50: Can Christians Appreciate the Fab Four?

    February 11, 2014

    This month marks the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ first trip to America. I remember how depressed my family was following President Kennedy’s assassination, but how excited my siblings and I were to see The Beatles on our black-and-white television in February 1964. Their coming marked the beginning of the British invasion!

    • Worldviews
  • From the Critical Thinker’s Toolbox: How Do Nonrational Factors Impact Thinking?

    February 4, 2014

    Various factors influence a person’s beliefs about reality and truth—some of the factors are rational (consistent with reason), some irrational (in conflict with reason), and some nonrational (not based upon reason). Just because a person is not persuaded by a given argument doesn’t necessarily mean that the argument is defective logically. Personal and subjective elements (nonrational factors) can deeply impact the process of persuasion.

    • Logic
  • 10 Commandments of Christian Scholarship, Part 2

    January 28, 2014

    This week we’re continuing a list of 10 commandments to guide Christian scholarship, both in private and in public. Like the Decalogue of Exodus 20, the first four (or, at least, 31/2) commandments concern our relationship with God and the last six, our relationships with others. (See part 1 for commandments 1–5.)

    • General Apologetics
  • 10 Commandments of Christian Scholarship, Part 1

    January 21, 2014

    How Christian apologists present evidence for the faith and respond to criticisms is as vital a component of apologetics as the way they think through issues surrounding the truth of Christianity. There are things believers can do both in private study and in public practice that will prepare them to discuss and debate theological topics in a God-glorifying manner.

    • General Apologetics
  • From the Critical Thinker’s Toolbox: Have You Considered the Other Side’s Best Argument?

    January 14, 2014

    Most of us prefer to listen to people who agree with us. Hearing a critical assessment of our beliefs can be quite uncomfortable or potentially a waste of our time if the criticisms are not well reasoned. However, if we listen only to people who agree with us then we’re susceptible to a type of groupthink where we do not know or address the most viable arguments against our positions.

    • General Apologetics

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